Current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has mentioned Ghanaian international Michael Essien in the list of greatest players he has coached.
Mourinho managed Essien in two different spells at English Premier League side Chelsea and Spanish La Liga side Real Madrid.
Essien, 34, is also on record to have called the Portuguese trainer “daddy” on account of the close bond between them.
Mourinho was hesitant in creating a specific team but he mentioned Porto, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea icons in an impressive list of names.
Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and, perhaps surprisingly, Nemanja Matic were included but no Red Devils stars have impressed him yet in his short time at Old Trafford.
“It’s an answer that I’ve always refused to give and will continue to,’ Mourinho told FIFA.com.
So many players gave their blood and soul when they played for me, how can I name some and forget others?
“Vitor Baia, Petr Cech, Julio Cesar… how can I choose just one? Jorge Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Marco Materazzi, Lucio, Walter Samuel, John Terry… how can I choose one?
“Michael Essien, Wesley Sneijder, Nemanja Matic, Costinha, Maniche, Xabi Alonso, Frank Lampard … how can I choose one?
I don’t think I will ever answer that question because I’ll never forget my brothers in arms.”
Essien is currently a free agent after parting ways with Greek side Panathinaikos.